Portsmouth News: Clegg pledge to halve number of admirals

#1
From today's Pompey News: Clegg pledge to halve number of admirals
Nick Clegg said:
...He said: 'I admire and want to support everyone who works selflessly in the armed services, but it's hard to work out how to support people on the front line when money is tight.

'We have to ask why there are around 800 civil servants doing communications for the MoD and why there are two admirals for every ship in the navy. We don't need more than one per ship.

'There's too much money tied up in projects we don't need, and in the wages of the top brass...
It looks as though the leader of the Lib Dems remains sadly ill-informed. According to the March 2010 Bridge Card, the Naval Service still has nearly 80 surface warships of all sizes plus 14 nuclear submarines and 16 fleet auxiliaries. Then there are the three RM Commandos, 17 Naval Air Squadrons, Naval Strike Wing and all their supporting assets and infrastructure.

For more accurate numbers of top brass, the DT printed this letter (link) from a recent (but fleetingly brief) Rum Rationer on 22 Apr 2010:

Lt Cdr Lester May RN (retd) said:
Clegg’s Navy ignorance

SIR – The buzz is that Nick Clegg did well in the last television debate. However, on defence, he made a glib claim that there are two admirals for every ship in the Royal Navy, hinting strongly at there being an opportunity for savings. He is way off track with his figures – there are not 150 or so admirals as he suggests. There are 36 flag and general officers in the Navy, of whom 30 are admirals and six are Royal Marines major-generals. Of this number, 20 admirals and two generals are in dedicated naval or marine posts, and only two hold the four-star rank of a full admiral. Ten admirals and generals are in tri-service defence posts, most of which are open to Army generals and air marshals by competition, and another four are in Nato posts.

Of the eight vice-admirals on the active list, half are in Nato or tri-service appointments, such as Surgeon Vice-Admiral Philip Raffaelli who succeeded an Army officer as Surgeon-General in December. These appointments say a lot about the high calibre of these officers.
So, there are 30 admirals and 6 RM general officers to lead 35,000 uniformed personnel (link) and umpteen MoD civil servants, manage over a hundred hulls and administer a budget of several billion pounds, plus fill several top level MoD support roles and other national, NATO, EU and tri-service billets. This doesn't sound that unreasonable to me.

On the other hand, perhaps we should start by sacking this Admiral? After all, the vast majority of warships he commands aren't even in the RN. :roll:
 
#2
Moreover, every single one of those Admirals are on 'blood chits', so if there is no job for them to go into after the appointment ends, then they have to leave the service. They will get between 6 - 12 months notice, and then they are off. No hanging around on 2OE or FTC for them: it's pretty cut-throat at the top, and you are a fool if you think they are on a sinecure...
 
#4
I pray the Lib Dems never get anywhere near influencing Defence policy. The Armed Services get a rough deal as it is, imagine what it would be like under Clegg. I shudder to even think about it.
 
#5
Re: Portsmouth News: Clegg pledge to halve number of admiral

Yet more opprobrium for the Lib Dems' naïveté regarding Defence:

Lib Dems and national security
Letters to The Times 4 Mar 2010 said:
Sir, The national security policies of the Labour Government and the Conservative Opposition are known quantities. By contrast, the Liberal Democrats’ approach to national security has not been subjected to very much scrutiny. All of us have held senior defence and security positions in the post-Cold War era. We worked within a broad, long-standing cross party consensus about national security.

We welcome the Liberal Democrats’ genuine commitment to the welfare of Forces’ personnel. But we have serious questions about other key planks of their programme, which we believe deviate from that broad cross party consensus...
 
#8
Re: Portsmouth News: Clegg pledge to halve number of admiral

There is one thing that has become absolutely crystal clear during this election campaign; Clegg knows absolutely "diddly squat" about anything to do with Defence.
 

WhiteRose

Lantern Swinger
#9
Re: Portsmouth News: Clegg pledge to halve number of admiral

You do realise that (at the moment, at least), Portsmouth has a Lib Dem MP? So locally, he shouts his support for all things RN, yet his leadership seems to have a different opinion...
 
#10
Re: Portsmouth News: Clegg pledge to halve number of admiral

WhiteRose said:
You do realise that (at the moment, at least), Portsmouth has a Lib Dem MP? So locally, he shouts his support for all things RN, yet his leadership seems to have a different opinion...
He knows which side his bread is buttered ! :wink:
 
#11
alfred_the_great said:
Moreover, every single one of those Admirals are on 'blood chits', so if there is no job for them to go into after the appointment ends, then they have to leave the service. They will get between 6 - 12 months notice, and then they are off. No hanging around on 2OE or FTC for them: it's pretty cut-throat at the top, and you are a fool if you think they are on a sinecure...
Pretty sure that the pension is a bit more than an honorary sports pass for the gym and complimentary bus pass.
 

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